Tips to adapt to E-leadership in post COVID era
Employees engagement is a vital part of teamwork in an organization. However, due to COVID-19, many businesses were affected and had to adapt to the remote work strategy to avoid infection and secure their teams. These changes impacted the social exchange and teams relationships, whereas those are necessary for leadership.
Contreras et al. 2020 state that “Leadership has several definitions; however, generally leadership can be defined as an influence process to achieve organizational goals.” However, with the adaptation to the crisis, we’re now talking about e-leadership, which is leading virtual teams in virtual environments with virtual work.
You may be wondering how E-leadership can be effective? And how can it adapt to the post COVID era?
This blog serves as some tips on how to adapt E-leadership in post COVID era.
Act with urgency:
Usually, making decisions in a hurry is not a good idea, and no one will advise you to do it. However, during and post COVID-19, things took another turn. Acting with urgency became the best solution and decision, as wasting time is no good for the business. The leader should avoid hesitation and quickly generate solutions and take action. Surrendering to pressure will not lead the leader to the right path.
COVID-19 crisis has prevented the world from face-to-face communication for a fine period of time. Teams separated, and team leaders’ missions became difficult more than ever. E-leadership is different from traditional leadership as the former is virtual and requires strong communication to keep the team bonded. However, strong communication is not enough. Teams need transparent and clear communication as well about the constant updates of the situation to make the teams aware of what might happen. However, communication should include a sparkle of hope and positivity to soothe the team and ensure they’re keeping a normal working pace and preventing them from panicking or going under pressure. Since it’s virtual communication, you can use Slack, Google Meets, or Zoom.
Solution-oriented & Team involvement:
Regardless of the leaders’ performance with the team, problems and mistakes will still happen. That’s normal! What’s not normal is being defensive and being a blamer. Mistakes happen, and a good leader is a solution-oriented one. E-leadership requires strong attention to keep the mind focused on the goal to know how to respond to unforeseen situations. Good leaders will take responsibility for the missteps, learn from them, solve the problem and try to foresee the upcoming issues to be ready for them.
In addition to that, teams also should be involved in decisions. In other words, when it’s a decision that concerns the team, you should maybe take their opinion. This leadership style is called “Democratic” or “Participative”. During COVID-19, many companies switched to remote working, but in post COVID era, these companies decided to stay on a hybrid work style that combined onsite and offsite working. As a leader, you may want to ask your team what type of work style they prefer, especially after the long remote working period. If you’re a Confluence user, you can ease the task for you and prepare a quizz course with “Smart Courses for Confluence” and assign it to all your team. You’ll have a full report of their answers with the metrics feature afterwards.
Adapt & Update:
During a crisis, everyone should be prepared to hear constant news and changes every day. With an e-leadership style, technology is your best friend to keep yourself and your team updated. Some team leaders prefer weekly meetings in such cases, and some others daily short meetings to keep everyone on track. Sticking to the company strategy and the already shaped goals is what makes a good leader in the traditional leadership style. However, given the severity of this pandemic, effective leaders should constantly adapt to the situation and update their strategies.
During the crisis, everyone is going through a hard time, and it is at that time when they need reassurance and someone to empathize with them. As a leader, you should not turn your team members down when they come for support. Effective leaders are those who value their teams. With a high scale pandemic, all we need is a set of humanity. Since it’s an e-leadership style, Joanna Barsha, senior partner emeritus based in McKinsey’s New York Office, suggests starting your Zoom call with ‘How are you really, really doing today?’ and listen to what they’re going to say and how they really feel. Try to relate and understand. Make them feel that they matter and that you really care.
- This blog is inspired from the article Leadership and governance in a crisis: some reflections on COVID-19.